Greetings from California! We are currently on our way to Yosemite National Park. This morning we left Manchester Bay, CA (pop. 426) around 10 AM. I cannot even begin to describe how all of the nature views we have had on this trip has affected us. From the Atlantic to the Pacific coast we have been in awe. In Manchester there were multiple people biking and hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. THAT takes an ample amount of self-determination. These people are incredible. In Manchester we stayed at a KOA on the beach, and yesterday morning Parker and I walked ten miles on the beach to a light house we saw in the distance. We met a couple of families while relaxing in the hot tub at the campground (it was 50 degrees) and were able to have conversations about their lives, what they were up to, and what the purpose of our trip was. I have to say, I have been amazed at the opportunities we have had to talk with people just by us being asked the question, “Hey, where are you from?” One thing that I am learning on this trip is that people are a lot more open to having a conversation than I previously thought. It all stems from the same thing that I keep mentioning…getting out of your comfort zone.
I suppose I should mention what we did last week. We visited Yellowstone National Park and hiked a mountain of 8000 ft. elevation. THOSE views were the most incredible I’ve ever seen. At the top of the mountain Parker found a hard plastic box that was filled with notes and items that people had left for the next visitors of the spot. We left a note and business card of a man that we met in Miles City, MT who made handmade knives and walking sticks, and sold them at the local Farmer’s Market. Anyway, Yellowstone was incredible, and I am excited to discover Yosemite in the next couple of days.
Oh! I almost forgot to mention- a couple of days ago we spent the night in Reno, NV (an interesting city..) and got a hotel and ate pizza all night for a little break from our tent and air mattress. I’ve gotta say- I will never again take for granted a hot meal and a bed, and pizza never tasted so good.
So far we have driven 90 hours and 5400 miles, and purchased two new tires and an oil change. It’s almost time for another one! We’ve been through nearly 25 states so far. I’ve always wanted to travel the world (and still do), but there is so much to see and do within our own country! The same goes for missions work. If you can, I encourage you to visit somewhere outside of your normal travel path.
My mom’s birthday is in four days, so I wanted to give a shout-out to her and say that I hope she has the best birthday yet, and relaxes before the busy school year begins yet again! I love you mom, Happy Birthday!